Monday, January 28, 2013

Mystery Challenge Completed---"Colorful and Creased Cosmos"

Challenge quilt kit
Today was the deadline for SCVQA's "Oh My Stars!" quilt challenge.  I picked up my bag-o-fabrics last June, and finally cutting/sewing New Year's Eve.

The rules included:
  • use 4-6" of each of the mystery challenge fabrics
  • include 5 stars, one of which had to be pieced (the others could be pieced, quilted, in the fabric, applique, etc)
  • must contain at least one embellishment
  • not to exceed 80" perimeter
  • and we could only add 5 fabrics of our own choosing
I was surprised to find one of the mystery fabrics in Joann's so I picked up an extra yard just in case, and recently found the grey/green polka dot fabric in Berkeley, CA and got some extra.

Pile of rejected fabrics
For this challenge, I looked through my magazines, books and patterns for any kind of stellar inspiration.  My research yielded so many exciting ideas, too numerous to fit within an 80" perimeter restriction!  

I also knew I wanted to feature some magical fabrics, drawing upon inspiration from Christine Barnes' retreat and workshop.  So I went to my fabric stash and pulled out a ginormous pile of fabrics that would create some pop to the mystery quilt fabrics.  Problem was that there were simply too many choices and I was limited to adding only 5 fabrics, which had to include background and binding.

Gradated blocks from ombre fabric
And then it dawned on me that an ombre fabric, featuring a graduated range of colors could easily solve my fabric selection dilemma.  I was able to cut it up every 3" and get noticeably different blocks of color to use with my fabric folded star.

Prep work for my layered star












I was so excited by this burst of color and how they played so nicely with the mystery fabrics that I included little snippets in each of the blocks that followed and later on in some piping along the binding...

Ombre folded star



I first created this layered folded star using a Moda bakeshop recipe for a Fancy Folded Star Potholder.  And I had several pieced/fabric folded stars in mind but wasn't sure how to tie them together into a cohesive design layout.  I fluctuated between sun and stars, star gazing, and constellations.  But then I found inspiration from an invitation modern star card design.  I was able to resize all my star designs to fit around the folded star and went to work creating colorful stars that were folded and could be manipulated for further interest.  


I will admit my rainbow star had a few small gaps at the very points...which resolved another design dilemma--embellishments!  I thought about adding buttons in the center of my asterisk stars, and then found these great pointed stars that matched the yellow green points perfect without losing the starry points!

"Colorful and Creased Cosmos"







Skippy's review of "Colorful and Creased Cosmos"
Unlike previous challenge quilts that I usually start the week before--this once I actually started one full month before the deadline.  But like all the other challenge quilt submissions--I was putting on the final stitches and finishing details the night before!  And I was completing my submission form just minutes before I had to take off for the meeting...eek! 

All in all I love this finished quilt.  While the top right folded star is my absolute favorite element, I love how the fabrics glow, the hidden asterisks that I quilted into the lower left corners, woven green and black center block, 3-D pinwheels and overall modern aesthetic!  I can't wait to see what the other challenge participates create using the mystery fabrics.  Voting will take place at our February and March meetings...and the complete collection will be on display at our April Quilt Show.  





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